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NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory
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Assessment of State Clean Energy Policy Effectiveness

NREL summarizes its research on individual state clean energy policies and their impacts driven by goals related to the environment, economic development, renewable energy deployment, and energy security. Policies include renewable portfolio standards, feed-in tariffs, tax incentives, and loan programs.

However, ultimately, there is no "one size fits all" policy choice. Individual states and stakeholders often have different values and goals regarding clean energy policy. Furthermore, different policy and technology emphases have different impacts on overarching renewable energy policy drivers. And these impacts may vary over the short and long terms.

Impacts on Policy Drivers

This table shows the range of impacts renewable energy policy has on overarching clean energy policy drivers. NREL analysts used existing policy analysis data to evaluate policy mechanisms on effectiveness relative to state drivers.

Policies Reviewed Environmental Policy Economic Development Energy Security Renewable Energy Deployment
Renewable Portfolio Standards Moderate/High Limited/High Limited/High Limited/High
Renewable Fuel Standards Limited/Moderate Moderate/High Moderate/High Moderate/High
Renewable Energy Rebates Limited Limited/Moderate Limited/High Limited/High
Feed-in-Tariffs High Moderate/High Limited/High Moderate/High

Short-Term Impacts on Policy Priorities

These tables show the expected high, moderate and/or limited short-term impacts on specific policy priorities associated with renewable energy policy.

Environmental Policy Priorities
Policies Reviewed Clean Air Benefits GHG Emissions Reductions Reduced Water Use Reduce Water Pollution Reduced Fuel Extraction Impacts Preserve Sensitive Areas Protected Species Minimize Human Impacts
Renewable Portfolio Standards High High High High High High Moderate/High High
Renewable Fuel Standards Limited/
Moderate
Limited/
Moderate
Limited/
Moderate
Limited/
Moderate
Limited/
Moderate
Limited/
Moderate
Limited/
Moderate
Limited/
Moderate
Renewable Energy Rebates Limited Limited Limited Limited Limited Limited Limited Limited
Feed-in-Tariffs High High High High High High High High
Economic Development Priorities
Policies Reviewed Job Creation State Economic Growth Minimize Energy Costs Minimize consumer Impacts Energy Price Stability Revitalize Rural Areas Attract New Investment Develop Locally Owned Assets
Renewable Portfolio Standards Moderate/High Moderate/High Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Limited
Renewable Fuel Standards Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate High Moderate Moderate
Renewable Energy Rebates Limited Limited Limited Limited Limited Limited Moderate Limited
Feed-in-Tariffs High High Moderate Moderate Moderate High High High
Energy Security Priorities
Policies Reviewed Abundant Energy Supply Affordable Energy Supply Reduce Transfer of Wealth Outside the U.S. Net Export of Energy Diversify Energy Resources Peak Demand Reduction Resilient Grid System Encourage Distributed Energy Generation
Renewable Portfolio Standards Moderate Moderate Limited Limited High Moderate Limited Limited
Renewable Fuel Standards Moderate Moderate High Moderate High n/a n/a n/a
Renewable Energy Rebates Limited Limited Limited Limited Moderate Moderate Moderate High
Feed-in-Tariffs Moderate Moderate Limited Moderate High Moderate Limited Moderate